7-26-05 Bemerkungen über 1-18-05 Tatbestand
It may take a couple weeks, but I’m polishing Silver Skies, putting in scene breaks with ***, to make the reading more understandable and to help the reader follow the plot. The biggest problems are in cause and effect or in logic, which is where I’m weakest. In some places the story is hard to follow. So my rewrites strive to strengthen the logic and make the story more understandable. I have had to make very few changes in the dialogue and characterization, which are brilliant. The prose has some weaknesses, but much of it I want to leave alone because the way it’s written conveys the voice of the main characters. The writing has a conversational feel which is part of the novel’s voice. You may say do you think this novel really qualifies for a Nobel Prize?
Possibly. I’ve always felt my writing was better than the fiction on the New York Times bestseller list. The characters were more interesting and the theme resonated more in my writing, which is what I like to read. I don’t like how American writers handle romance. All the works I admire are not American writers. I didn’t write my novel to write a blockbuster. I wrote it to make a difference, to write something that would change lives and would live on in the hearts and minds of those who read the story.
I’ve created a brilliant plot with mesmerizing characterizations and dialogue. This is fitting because the novel is a character story. The book is a page turner. I patterned much of my writing after Charles Dickens, who is a writer I greatly admire. I love how Dickens handles his characters and I strived to create characters just as interesting. However, unlike Dickens, I used modern novel writing techniques and began the story not at the beginning of Dor’s life, but when an important change came into his life, which was the conflict of the whole novel. I only incorporated Dicken’s knack to create interesting characters. I studied intensely The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough and David Copperfield by Dickens. They say you should write what you like to read and this is what I like to read. So I created a modern novel with the characterizations of Dickens and the pacing and feel of The Thornbirds and some philosophy which I weaved into the plot (a variation of Tolstoy’s technique), except I tightened my plot, so that there would never be a dull moment and I never forgot to remember my novel’s theme that a love strong enough can overcome anything or love conquers all, with every page I wrote. The Thornbirds is also a character story, guided by strong thematic writing. I wanted to keep the writing focused on the theme and the characters, because this increases emotional intensity. Another favorite of mine is Tolstoy’s War and Peace and this is why I wrote in the omniscient voice, and threw in some of my philosophy about life, government and history into the writing. My novel combines techniques from my favorite writers: Colleen McCullough, Leo Tolstoy and Charles Dickens. The writing is very focused, with a tight plot and very few loose threads–the sign of good writing. Those loose threads that are there are there to create the voice, so they are not wasted. A good writer doesn’t waste a word.
7-27-05: I’ve been listening a lot to Brent’s album Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back as I work on my novel Silver Skies. This isn’t because I’ve forgotten about Vladimir or that Brent has completely replaced Vladimir in my heart. I do this because it helps me as I characterize my characters for Silver Skies. I know this may seem strange, but listening to this music makes me remember how I felt when I worked on Silver Skies from 1992 to 1996, and this helps me to get into character as I work on the novel. I used to listen to Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back everyday from 1991 to 1996, so this music completely infused my life during that time, and, of course, influenced how I wrote Silver Skies. I really want to finish this novel because I think it is a great work and deserves to be finished. And I’m the only one that can do it. Because this novel is my vision and I know these characters. My techniques are working, because the novel (and how I wrote it) is coming back to me. And I know I can finish it, including polishing the prose, fixing dialogue problems, and other writing problems. Also, I am recalling some of the writing skills which I acquired from 1991 to 2000, and am incorporating these skills into my current work.
You may say why have you joined the Writer’s Digest Book Club? It’s because I get books about the writing craft real cheap through them and I learned most of my writing skills from the books I read and ordered from the Writer’s Digest Book Club (from 1992 to 2000). I’ve lost my writing library, which I hate and so I need to order some books to help me recall my writing skills. God seemed to tell me to join this writing club and perhaps these books I order may come in handy. I never know when my writing skills may be needed again.
I really believe in Silver Skies and want to finish it. I’m making it a priority to finish it. This is a great story and needs to be finished. I feel I’ve written a work that will endure and become a treasured part of world literature. Literature this great must be finished. I feel it’s my God-given duty to finish this book and now that I know I can do it, it’s my current top priority. Great writing can change history. I must finish Silver Skies.
These rewrites may take me longer than I anticipated. Now that I’m printing some of my rewrites on paper, I am spotting more weaknesses. A weakness that I’ve noticed is that the voice is not consistent. In omniscient POV you need a strong consistent voice throughout the novel. I’m going to have to go back and strengthen the voice in certain sections. The voice is deep, flowing, rich and evocative with rich metaphors–except for intense action scenes. Some sections of the writing need more of this and I need to fix some choppy passages and cause more of a flow–to keep the voice consistent or my omniscient POV will flop. The voice reflects the theme of the novel and it’s important to keep it strong throughout. I hate to think how much money I’ll spend on paper and print cartridges, but this is necessary to finish the book. I can see my mistakes better when I print the writing on paper.
Electronically signed: Gail Chord Schuler
Place: Melbourne, FL